tisha b’av | 9 av

SMALL

  • study the history of Tisha b’Av (this is a great place to start)
  • skip snacks & treats so the day feels more somber
  • read Deuteronomy 4.25-40 and Jeremiah 8.13-9.24; focus on the themes of repentance and forgiveness
  • give little ones a visual of the Temple being destroyed (legos, lincoln logs, magna tiles)
  • listen to all (or part) of megillat eichah, the book of Lamentations
  • make a charitable donation

MEDIUM

  • avoid fun outings and spend time in quiet contemplation
  • read Lamentations out loud as a family
  • check out Aleph Beta’s video resources
  • read the Nachem prayer (included below) which is recited only on this day
  • visit a cemetery

LARGE

  • participate in the traditional 25-hour fast (sundown to sundown); for kids, stick to simple foods throughout the day
  • prepare for the fast by eating a hard boiled egg sprinkled with ash just before sundown
  • observe mourning customs until noon: sit on the floor, speak quietly, don’t shower or bathe
  • after lunch, clean the house to symbolically prepare for Yeshua’s return
  • read through this overview of the Tisha b’Av synagogue service or these translated kinnot
  • host a gathering: one of the daily prayer services or an evening discussion that ends with breaking the fast together

 

O Adonai, our God, console the mourners of Zion and the mourners of Jerusalem, and the city that is mournful, ruined, scorned, and desolate: mournful without her children, ruined without her abodes, scorned without her glory, and desolate without inhabitant. She sits with covered head like a barren woman who never gave birth. Legions have devoured her, and idolaters have conquered her; they have cast Your people Israel to the sword and wantonly murdered the devout servants of the Supreme One. Therefore, Zion weeps bitterly and Jerusalem raises her voice. My heart, my heart – [it aches] for the slain! My innards, my innards – [they ache] for their slain! For You Adonai, with fire You consume her and with fire You will rebuild her, as it is said: “I will be for her, the words of Adonai, a wall of fire around and I will be glorious in her midst.” Blessed are You, Adonai, Who consoles Zion and rebuilds Jerusalem. 

“Nachem” from the Artscroll Complete Siddur

 

He who does not mourn the destruction of Zion will not live to see her joy.
-Jewish tradition